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Letter: King’s Cross vote was a grand betrayal

PUBLISHED: 06:28 24 March 2006 | UPDATED: 10:26 07 September 2010

It would be difficult to exaggerate the depressing long-term ramifications of Camden Council's decision to grant outline planning approval of the King's Cross Office City proposal from developers Argent. The local jobs that Cllr Theo Blackwell brags abou

It would be difficult to exaggerate the depressing long-term ramifications of Camden Council's decision to grant outline planning approval of the King's Cross Office City proposal from developers Argent.

The local jobs that Cllr Theo Blackwell brags about (H&H letters, March 17) will be in construction, retail and cleaning - with getting on for 20,000 white collar jobs to enrich long distance commuters with precious little space - 0.6 per cent of 69 acres - for local entrepreneurs.

But the biggest betrayal is on social housing, where Camden's needs could and should have been paramount. In a £2bn scheme there are just 340 net additional new rentable family homes, of which only 20 per cent will be three bedroom or more. The rest will be one and two bedroom flats, bought by Yuppies. Shoe-horning 245 tiny apartments into the so-called triangle site will create a little ghetto.

Lib Dem councillor Flick Rea tried gallantly to force a deferment in granting approval until after the elections to allow greater discussion of the pitiful "planning gains" of £20m over 15 years. Her motion was supported by opposition councillors and bravely by Labour's Brian Woodrow and Sue Vincent, but it was defeated by a single vote by the Labour majority. The councillors who approved the scheme sold out their constituents for a pittance - most of which is jam tomorrow.

Paul Braithwaite

Bartholomew Villas, NW5

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